Robert Griffin III not only won't start Sunday for the Washington Redskins, he won't be playing for the rest of the season.
The face of the franchise, Griffin was the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2011 while playing for Baylor.
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He told reporters Wednesday that head coach Mike Shanahan informed him that he will be shut down for the rest of the season, with Kirk Cousins starting against the Atlanta Falcons this week. Veteran Rex Grossman will serve as Cousins' backup, according to The Washington Post, meaning that Griffin
will be inactive.
Shanahan mentioned this possibility on Monday, based on his desire to keep his star quarterback healthy heading into the offseason. He had been sacked 24 times in the previous five games. Griffin suffered a major knee injury in the Redskins' playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January.
Cousins was selected four rounds after Griffin in 2012. He appeared in three games last season, throwing for 466 yards, with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He has appeared in two games this season.
Washington fell to 3-10 after a 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The Redskins didn't officially announce the change at quarterback, though Shanahan was scheduled to speak to the media later Wednesday. Such a move by Shanahan could be seen as a power play in a growing feud with team owner Daniel Snyder over the team's direction. Their strife has reportedly revolved around Shanahan's displeasure with Snyder's close relationship with Griffin.
Reports have also surfaced over Shanahan's job status. Citing people close to the situation, The Washington Post reported that Shanahan will leave after the season, if not sooner. One person even speculated that benching Griffin is Shanahan's way of prompting Snyder into dismissing him, while still owing him more than $7 million from his contract.
For his part, Cousins remained professional.
"Robert is the franchise quarterback here," he said, according to the New York Daily News.
"This is his team. My job is to help this team get a win. It is what it is. I'm going to submit to the authorities above me and do what I'm coached to do."
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